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Ancient Coins of North Africa
Kingdom of Mauretania, Juba II and Cleopatra Selene, 25 B.C. - 24 A.D.

|Mauretania|, |Kingdom| |of| |Mauretania,| |Juba| |II| |and| |Cleopatra| |Selene,| |25| |B.C.| |-| |24| |A.D.|, |AE| |27|
After his father's defeat and suicide, Juba II was take to Rome and paraded in Caesar's triumph. He was then raised in Caesar's household where he and Octavian became lifelong friends. He accompanied Octavian on campaigns after Caesar's death even fighting at the battle of Actium against his future wife's parents. Cleopatra Selene was the daughter of Cleopatra VII by Marc Antony. After the battle of Actium, she was raised by Octavia, Octavian's sister. Augustus restored Juba II as the king of Numidia c. 28 B.C. and later arranged for him to marry Cleopatra Selene II giving her a large dowry and appointing her queen.
SL95881. Bronze AE 27, Alexandropoulos 209, Mazard 351 (RRR), SNG Cop 605, De Luynes 4013, NGC F, strike 4/5, surface 2/5, lt. smoothing (5872605-040), weight 18.59 g, maximum diameter 27 mm, die axis 90o, Caesarea (Cherchell, Algeria) mint, 25 B.C. - 24 A.D.; obverse REX IVBA, diademed and draped bust right, club over shoulder; reverse BACI−ΛICCA / KΛEOΠATPA, headdress of Isis, with stalks of grain, crescent above; NGC| Lookup; very rare; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, 51 - 30 B.C.

|Cleopatra| |VII|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Cleopatra| |VII| |Thea| |Philopator,| |51| |-| |30| |B.C.|, |hemiobol|
Cleopatra VII originally shared power with her father Ptolemy XII and later with her brother-husbands Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV. Her relationship with Julius Caesar led to sole rule. After Caesar's assassination, she aligned with Mark Antony. Her reign marks the end of the Hellenistic Era and the beginning of the Roman Era. She was the last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.
GP95882. Bronze hemiobol, Svoronos 1872; Weiser 184; SNG Cop 422; BMC Alexandria p. 123, 5; Noeske 383; Sear CRI 949, aF, toned brassy surfaces, scratches, weight 9.301 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 51 - 30 B.C.; obverse diademed and draped bust of Cleopatra right, characteristic melon coif; reverse KΛEOΠATPAΣ BACIΛICCHC, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings closed, head left, cornucopia left, M (40 drachms = hemiobol) right; ex Artemide auction 8a, lot 169; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00


Kingdom of Numidia, Massinissa 203 - 148 B.C., or Micipsa 148 - 118 B.C.

|Numidia|, |Kingdom| |of| |Numidia,| |Massinissa| |203| |-| |148| |B.C.,| |or| |Micipsa| |148| |-| |118| |B.C.|, |AE| |26|
When King Masinissa died, rule was divided among his three sons by Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus, to whom Masinissa had given the authority to administer his estate. Micipsa received the Numidian capital of Cirta along with the palace and treasury, Gulussa the charge of war, and Mastarnable the administration of justice. After his brothers died, Micipsa alone controlled the kingdom.
GB92769. Bronze AE 26, cf. Viola CNP 75, Alexandropoulos MAA 25, Mller Afrique 40, SNG Cop 498, de Luynes IV 3933, F, green patina, porous, weight 10.824 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 0o, Siga (near An Tmouchent, Algeria) mint, 200 - 118 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Masinissa (or Micipsa) left with pointed beard, dot border; reverse horse stepping left, star of eight rays around central pellet; ex Munzhandlung Ritter; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00


Aurelian, August or September 270 - October or November 275 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Aurelian,| |August| |or| |September| |270| |-| |October| |or| |November| |275| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt|, |tetradrachm|
In 275, Aurelian prepared a campaign against the Sassanids in Asia Minor. In Thrace, while waiting to cross the Bosphorus with his army, he ordered severe punishments for corrupt soldiers and made a list of high-ranking officers marked for execution. In September, Aurelian fell victim to a conspiracy of the Praetorian Guard and was murdered near Byzantium (Istanbul, Turkey).
RX92520. Billon tetradrachm, Dattari 5477; Geissen 3096; BMC Alexandria p. 306, 2362; Milne 4456; Curtis 1773; SNG Cop 883; Kampmann 106.54; Emmett 3923, VF, a little off center, porous, edge cracks, weight 7.814 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 274 - 28 Aug 275 A.D.; obverse A K Λ ∆OM AVPHΛ IANOC CEB, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse ETOVC S (year 6), eagle standing left head turned back, wreath in beak; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $50.00 SALE |PRICE| $45.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |II| |Philadelphos,| |285| |-| |246| |B.C.|, |octobol|
Ptolemy II encouraged education, commerce, industry, immigration and trade resulting in a prosperous growing economy. He was the richest monarch of his age. Ptolemy had many brilliant mistresses, and his court, magnificent and dissolute, intellectual and artificial, has been compared with the Versailles of Louis XIV.
GP94439. Bronze octobol, Svoronos 446; Weiser 19; BMC Ptolemies p. 37, 158; SNG Cop 142; Noeske 64; Hosking 13; Malter 67, F, about one quadrant unstruck, weight 79.568 g, maximum diameter 45.8 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 285 - 246 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, head turned back right, E between legs; HUGE 79.568g, 46mm bronze! The largest of all Ptolemaic bronze coin types; scarce; $225.00 SALE |PRICE| $203.00


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Roman Provincial Egypt

|Roman| |Egypt|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Roman| |Provincial| |Egypt|, |drachm|
The Nilometer measured the height of the annual Nile flood. Sixteen cubits was considered the ideal height of the annual Nile flood. Less could mean drought or famine. Even in modern times, grand celebrations were held when the flood reached 16 cubits. In years when the flood failed to reach 16 cubits, the celebrations were canceled, and prayers and fasting were held instead. The peak flood occurred at the end of August, which explains why the Egyptian year began on 29 August.
RX94446. Bronze drachm, Geissen 1708; Savio 2764; Milne 2230; BMC Alexandria p. 136, 1152; Kampmann 35.602; SNG Cop -; Hunterian -, aF, a few pits, edge splits, weight 21.805 g, maximum diameter 39.9 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, 29 Aug 153 - 28 Aug 154; obverse AYT K T AIΛ A∆P ANTWNINOC CEB EYC, laureate and draped bust right, from behind; reverse Nilus reclining left, reed in right, genius emerging from cornucopia in his left, wearing lotus crown, himation from waist down, domed Nilometer in background on left, L I-Z (year 17) above, crocodile right and water plants below; $125.00 SALE |PRICE| $113.00


Kyrene, Kyrenaika, N. Africa, c. 325 - 313 B.C.

|Kyrenaica|, |Kyrene,| |Kyrenaika,| |N.| |Africa,| |c.| |325| |-| |313| |B.C.|, |AE| |19|
Cyrene was an ancient Greek and later Roman city near present-day Shahhat, Libya. It was the oldest and most important of the five Greek cities in the region. It gave eastern Libya the classical name Cyrenaica that it has retained to modern times. Cyrene lies in a lush valley in the Jebel Akhdar uplands. The city was named after a spring, Kyre, which the Greeks consecrated to Apollo. It was also the seat of the Cyrenaics, a famous school of philosophy in the fourth century BC, founded by Aristippus, a disciple of Socrates.
GB91338. Bronze AE 19, Asolati 18 var.; Buttrey Cyrene 139 var.; SNG Cop 1219 var.; BMC Cyrenaica p. 58, 277 - 278 var.; Mller Afrique 93 var. (all no caduceus/trident), gVF, very nice for the type, caduceus and trident not visible on other examples known to FORVM, light deposit, edge crack, weight 8.525 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, c. 325 - 313 B.C.; obverse head of Ammon with horn and beard right, small caduceus before; reverse shield (or wheel?) with handle and six ribs, small trident to right, shallow incuse; very rare; $650.00 SALE |PRICE| $585.00


Kyrene, Kyrenaika, N. Africa, c. 325 - 313 B.C.

|Kyrenaica|, |Kyrene,| |Kyrenaika,| |N.| |Africa,| |c.| |325| |-| |313| |B.C.|, |AE| |15|
Silphium, which is now extinct, was so critical to the Kyrenian economy that most of their coins depict it. The plant was used as a spice and to treat all kinds of maladies including cough, sore throat, fever, indigestion, pain, and warts. It was so widely used as a contraceptive that it was worth its weight in denarii. The traditional heart shape, the symbol of love, is probably derived from the shape of the silphium seed due to the use of silphium as a contraceptive.

"By the next day this maiden and all her girlish apparel had disappeared, and in the room were found images of the Dioscuri, a table, and silphium upon it." - Description of Greece, Pausanias 3.16.3, 2nd Century A.D.
GB91339. Bronze AE 15, Asolati 12; Buttrey Cyrene 12, SNG Cop 1226; BMC Cyrenaica p. 45, 198, F, green patina, earthen encrustations, reverse off center, weight 3.690 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, 325 - 313 B.C.; obverse head of Apollo Carneius right, THP (magistrate) upward behind; reverse K-Y-P, triple silphium plant, seen from above; rare; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


Kyrene, Kyrenaika, N. Africa, Revolt of Magas, c. 282 - 261 B.C.

|Kyrenaica|, |Kyrene,| |Kyrenaika,| |N.| |Africa,| |Revolt| |of| |Magas,| |c.| |282| |-| |261| |B.C.|, |AE| |17|
Magas was the stepson of Ptolemy I, the son of Berenice I, and half-brother to Ptolemy II. In 276 B.C., he crowned himself King in Kyrene, married the daughter of Antiochos I and invaded Egypt with his Seleukid allies. The Seleukid army was defeated by Ptolemy II and Magas faced an internal revolt of Libyan nomads. Still, Kyrene remained independent as long as he lived.
GP91348. Bronze AE 17, Asolati 51, Buttrey Cyrene 194; BMC 292- 296; SNG Copenhagen 1259, F/aF, green patina, interesting portrait, scratches, weight 5.822 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 180o, Kyrene (near Shahhat, Libya) mint, c. 282 - 261 B.C.; obverse diademed, lightly bearded male head (Zeus?) right; reverse palm tree, K-Y/P-A in two lines divided across field; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00


Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (Physcon), Second Reign, 145 - 116 B.C.

|Ptolemaic| |Egypt|, |Ptolemaic| |Kingdom| |of| |Egypt,| |Ptolemy| |VIII| |Euergetes| |II| |(Physcon),| |Second| |Reign,| |145| |-| |116| |B.C.|, |tetradrachm|
Ptolemy VIII and his older brother Ptolemy VI ruled jointly from 170 to 164 B.C. Porphyry notes, "The 36th year of [Ptolemy VI] Philometor was the 25th of [Ptolemy VIII] Euergetes II." The reverse die has a date that could be read as 11 years earlier. Instead, this is an issue for Ptolemy VIII, Year 25. This year was the same as Ptolemy VI, Year 36. Ptolemy VI died in July of 145 BC, and his Year 36 became Year 25 of Ptolemy VIII.
SL94004. Silver tetradrachm, Paphos I Alexandria pl. XVIII 10 (Ptolemy VIII), SNG Cop 323 (VI), Svoronos 1437 (VI), Noeske 228 (VI), SNG Cop -, Weiser -, NGC VF (Ptolemy VI) (4882205-012), Alexandria mint, Jul - Aug 145 B.C.; obverse diademed bust of Ptolemy I right wearing aegis; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), smallish eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, LKE (year 25) left, ΠA right; ex Heritage auction 231941 (10 Oct 2019), lot 62121; NGC| Lookup; $810.00 SALE |PRICE| $650.00










REFERENCES|

Alexandropoulos, J. Les monnaies de l'Afrique antique: 400 av. J.-C. - 40 ap. J.-C. (Toulouse, 2000).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Babelon, J. Catalogue de la collection de Luynes: monnaies greques. (Paris, 1924-1936).
Falbe, C. & J. Lindberg. Numismatique de L'Ancienne Afrique. (Copenhagen, 1860-1862).
Mller, L. et. al. Numismatique de l'ancienne Afrique. (Copenhagen, 1860-1862).
Roman Provincial Coinage Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Strauss, P. Collection Maurice Laffaille - monnaies grecques en bronze. (Ble, 1990).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 8: Egypt, North Africa, Spain - Gaul. (1994).

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